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OFCCP's Reply to 80-20 (4-7-2010)

S. B. Woo's initial seeking for clarification is shown in black,
and answers from OFCCP, DOL is shown in blue.


Subject: Thanks. Seeking clarifications
From:   Chen.Cindy@dol.gov
Date: April 7, 2010 9:43:32 AM EDT
To:   sbw@UDel.Edu, hu@eecs.berkeley.edu

Mr. Woo and Professor Hu,
Please see below OFCCP’s response to your letter. Please let me know if you need anything. Thanks, Cindy

Dear Director Shiu:
   Again, thank you for your email to me of February 10, 2010 conveyed through Claudia Gordon.  We are pleased with your firm commitment "to enforce Executive Order 11246 on behalf of all protected persons ,." We feel privileged to be "a stakeholder in OFCCP's efforts to effectively carry out its mission of enforcing equal employment opportunity and affirmative action in the workplace."

  With the above in mind, we respectfully seek 4 clarifications from you.  In a way, we serve as a bridge between the Asian American community and OFCCP, DOL in the Obama Administration.  We want to present you in the best light by conveying accurate information.

1) Powerful data clearly indicate that Asian Americans face by far the worst glass ceiling.  See Chart 1 in the attachment.  Does OFCCP therefore recognize it as a significant problem area deserving its vigilant attention for an effective remedy at the earliest possible time?
As mentioned during our meeting and in previous email, OFCCP intends to enforce Executive Order 11246 on behalf of all protected persons, including, but not limited to, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI).  OFCCP will broaden its enforcement efforts and focus on identifying and resolving both systemic and individual discrimination cases.  OFCCP takes very seriously its responsibility to eliminate any vestiges of discrimination in the federal contractor workplace; therefore, members of the AAPI community, including members of your organization, are encouraged to contact an OFCCP office in their area to file or report potential discriminatory employment practices by federal contractors or subcontractors.

  If you do, we would tend to agree that "requesting additional authority from the President" may not be called for.  However, if OFCCP faces current restrictions and/or has its hands tied by circumstances unbeknownst to us so that it cannot recognize this significant problem area, then may we ask you clarify for us why you would "decline our offer to request additional authority from the President."  President Obama has already promised the Asian American community "to issue a directive to focus" on helping Asian Americans break the statistically proven glass ceiling.  It could only make your job easier.

As I have reiterated in prior communications we have had, OFCCP intends to rigorously enforce Executive Order 11246 on behalf of all protected persons, including, but not limited to AAPI.

2) Does OFCCP intend to enforce EO 11246 in the absence of individual complaints when overwhelming statistical evidence indicates systemic discrimination against a given race exists?

OFCCP has the unique ability to engage in compliance reviews of federal contractors and subcontractors, even in the absence of a complaint. 

3) Are data from OFCCP's audit of contractors open to the public or available, upon request, to 80-20 Educational Foundation as a stakeholder?  We may try out your suggestion of visitations to CEOs of federal contractors to advocate diversity in their managements, although we recognize that these visitation can at best supplement the enforcement of OFCCP.  We need current data to select the most opportune contractors for our first attempt.  We plan our first visit to be courteous, considerate and away from media attention, if we have good  data to plan things out.

OFCCP completes approximately 4,000 reviews in a fiscal year.  Summary aggregate data regarding those audits are generally available to the public.  OFCCP is currently preparing summary FY 2009 data for release within the next couple of weeks.  General information on the names of contractor establishments that have been reviewed with the last 24 months for pre-award purposes is available on OFCCP’s web page at http://www.dol-esa.gov/preaward/pa_reg.html.  As a part of the open government initiative (http://www.dol.gov/open), more contractor information will be available in the future concerning federal contractor establishments.

4) Is OFCCP focusing on the construction trade instead of across the industry? Your Town Hall Meeting seems to emphasize that trade.

No, OFCCP Town Hall Meetings focused on all three of its regulatory programs.  The focuses were:

  • Affirmative Action & Nondiscrimination Obligations of Contractors and Subcontractors; Evaluation of Recruitment and Placement Results under Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act. 
  • Affirmative Action & Nondiscrimination Obligations of Contractors and Subcontractors; Evaluation of Recruitment and Placement Results under the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA). 

  • Construction Contractor Affirmative Action Requirements. 

  We want to thank your wonderful part in keeping our communication open and smooth.

Most sincerely yours,

S. B. Woo